Spirulina (Blue-green algae)

Other Names:
AFA, Algae, Algas Verdiazul, Algues Bleu-Vert, Algues Bleu-Vert du Lac Klamath, Anabaena, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Arthrospira maxima, Arthrospira platensis, BGA, Blue Green Algae, Blue-Green Micro-Algae, Cyanobacteria, Cyanobactérie, Cyanophycée, Dihe, Espirulina, Hawaiian Spirulina, Klamath, Klamath Lake Algae, Lyngbya wollei, Microcystis aeruginosa, Microcystis wesenbergii, Nostoc ellipsosporum, Spirulina Blue-Green Algae, Spirulina Fusiformis, Spirulina maxima, Spirulina platensis, Spirulina pacifica, Spiruline, Spiruline d’Hawaii, Tecuitlatl.

Description:
Spirulina is obtained from a plant in form of blue-green algae that springs from warm, fresh water bodies………..CLICK & SEE
Spirulina is a cyanobacterium that can be consumed by humans and other animals. There are two species, Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima.

Arthrospira is cultivated worldwide; used as a dietary supplement as well as a whole food; and is also available in tablet, flake and powder form. It is also used as a feed supplement in the aquaculture, aquarium and poultry industries.

Blue-green algae have a high protein, iron, and other mineral content which is absorbed when taken orally. Blue-green algae are being researched for their potential effects on the immune system, swelling (inflammation), and viral infections.

Chlorella is another form of algae that is sometimes confused with spirulina. The fundamental difference between spirulina and chlorella is that spirulina is many thousands of years older and does not possess the hard cell wall that makes chlorella closer to being a plant than algae.

Chlorella is an excellent way to detoxify  our body from mercury, which most of you are contaminated with if you’ve ever had dental fillings, received a vaccine, used certain types of cookware or eaten fish. Spirulina simply is unable to remove heavy metals like chlorella does, as it lacks a cell membrane.

Chlorella has also been proven to be of benefit to those who suffer from degenerative disease. This report, however, will focus on the specific benefits that can be attributed to spirulina in particular.

“Blue-green algae” describes a large and diverse group of simple, plant-like organisms found in salt water and some large fresh water lakes.

Blue-green algae products are used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not they are effective for any of them.

Blue-green algae are used as a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron. They are also used for weight loss, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hayfever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other women’s health issues.

Some people use blue-green algae for treating precancerous growths inside the mouth, boosting the immune system, improving memory, increasing energy and metabolism, lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, healing wounds, and improving digestion and bowel health.

Blue-green algae are commonly found in tropical or subtropical waters that have a high-salt content, but some types grow in large fresh water lakes. The natural color of these algae can give bodies of water a dark-green appearance. The altitude, temperature, and sun exposure where the blue-green algae are grown dramatically influence the types and mix of blue-green algae in the water.

Some blue-green algae products are grown under controlled conditions. Others are grown in a natural setting, where they are more likely to be contaminated by bacteria, liver poisons (microcystins) produced by certain bacteria, and heavy metals. Choose only products that have been tested and found free of these contaminants.

You may have been told that blue-green algae are an excellent source of protein. But, in reality, blue-green algae is no better than meat or milk as a protein source and costs about 30 times as much per gram.

Protein:
Dried spirulina contains about 60% (51–71%) protein.  It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs and milk. It is, however, superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine said that spirulina was no better than milk or meat as a protein source, and was approximately 30 times more expensive per gram

Other nutrients:
Spirulina’s lipid content is about 7% by weight,  and is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA),  and also provides alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA).  Spirulina contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinamide), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E.  It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc. Spirulina contains many pigments which may be beneficial and bioavailable, including beta-carotene,  zeaxanthin,  7-hydroxyretinoic acid,  isomers, chlorophyll-a, xanthophyll, echinenone, myxoxanthophyll, canthaxanthin, diatoxanthin, 3′-hydroxyechinenone, beta-cryptoxanthin, and oscillaxanthin, plus the phycobiliproteins  c-phycocyanin and allophycocyanin.

Vitamin B12 controversy:
Spirulina is not considered to be a reliable source of Vitamin B12. Spirulina supplements contain predominantly pseudovitamin B12, which is biologically inactive in humans. Companies which grow and market spirulina have claimed it to be a significant source of B12 on the basis of alternative, unpublished assays, although their claims are not accepted by independent scientific organizations. The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada in their position paper on vegetarian diets state that spirulina cannot be counted on as a reliable source of active vitamin B12. The medical literature similarly advises that spirulina is unsuitable as a source of B12.

 Spirulina Helped Save Millions from Arsenic Poisoning:
Bangladeshi researchers conducted a three-month-hospital-based study, where spirulina was given to 33 patients while 17 received placebo doses. 82 percent of those taking spirulina showed tremendous improvement.

An Immune-System Power-Boost — Spirulina’s Impact on Candida and AIDS:
According to a study done by the Department of Aquataculture in Taiwan,4 spirulina shows significant immune-boosting properties. Researchers exposed white shrimp to seawater containing a hot-water extract of spirulina before transferring them to seawater with a pH level of 6.8. The control group was not exposed to spirulina.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

The shrimp exposed to the spirulina seawater showed a faster and more promising recovery rate to the high levels of pH than those not given the dose of spirulina first.

Now, let’s take a look at what this immune-system boosting power can mean for  us:

Candida:
If  we have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lupus or fibromyalgia, chronic candida yeast can both cause and worsen your symptoms. Spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial flora in our gut,  which can help keep candida overgrowth under control.

HIV and AIDS:
Drugs such as AZT used to treat HIV and AIDS patients can actually cause the symptoms they are supposed to cure. However, spirulina has been shown to help inactivate the human immunodeficiency virus associated with HIV and AIDS.

Seasonal Allergy:
Millions of people are allergic to pollen, ragweed, dust, mold, pet dander, and a myriad other environmental contaminants, ensuring the makers of Kleenex will always stay in business.

Unfortunately, many people who have allergic rhinitis treat it with prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that often do more harm than good. Antihistamines are designed to suppress our immune system, which leads to decreased resistance to disease and dependence on the drug. Certain asthma drugs have been linked to serious side effects as well.

This is where natural methods such as the use of spirulina come in. According to one study,  patients treated with spirulina reported relief of symptoms commonly associated with allergic rhinitis, such as nasal discharge and congestion, sneezing and itching, when given spirulina.

Blood Pressure Balancing:
According to a study done by the Department of Biochemistry in Mexico,7 4.5 grams of spirulina given each day was shown to regulate blood pressure among both women and men ages 18-65 years with no other dietary changes made during the six weeks the experiment was run.

Lowers Stroke Risk:
In a study done at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology in India, it was found that a dosage of 180mg/kg of spirulina had a protective effect on the brain and nervous system of rats exposed to high amounts of free radicals, compared to rats not given the spirulina before the experiment. This lab test shows the promising effect of spirulina on stroke prevention.

Helps Reduce Cancer Risk:
According to a study done in China,10 selenium-infused spirulina inhibited the growth of MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

Potential Adverse Reactions:
Spirulina is a safe source of protein, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that has been used for centuries. Though there are no known side effects associated with spirulina,  our body may react to it based on  our current state of health. Let’s take a look at some of those reactions,  what they mean, and what you can do to alleviate them.

The most prominent reactions  one may experience are:
*Slight Fever –– The high protein content in spirulina increases metabolism, which may elevate body temperature.

*Dark Green Waste Matter — Spirulina can remove accumulated waste product in our colon, which may cause darker stool. Also, spirulina is high in chlorophyll. This will also turn waste matter green.

*Excessive Passing of Gas — This may indicate that your digestive system is not functioning properly or you have an extreme build-up of gas.

*Feelings of Excitement — Our body is converting protein into heat energy, which may cause temporary feelings of restlessness.

*Breakouts and Itchy Skin — This is caused by colon cleansing process and is only temporary.

*Sleepiness — This is caused by the detoxification process and may indicate our body is exhausted and needs better rest.

Remember, our body may go through an adjustment period with spirulina, and our best bet to reduce reaction is to dose gradually to see how  our body will react.  Water intake should be increased and ,  stress levels should be  reduced, we should eat according to our nutritional type, and get plenty of rest.

Important Contraindications for Spirulina:
Even though spirulina is entirely natural and generally considered a healthful food, there are some contraindications  we need to be aware of.  No one should  take spirulina if he or she has a severe seafood or iodine allergy. And, if one is pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism, it is adviced  to  consult with the healthcare provider before taking spirulina.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement)
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-923-spirulina%20(blue-green%20algae).aspx?activeingredientid=923&activeingredientname=spirulina%20(blue-green%20algae)
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *